Do you want to better understand what people really think and feel about your organization’s brand, and what’s holding them back from becoming a loyal advocate? Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to gain these insights in real time. Social media platforms are capturing a well of data on people’s behaviors—their likes, dislikes, and opinions—within a number of characters and emojis.

For a health care marketer, this data can be a gold mine. What I hear from hospital marketers is that there isn’t a lot of buzz or sentiment about the brand outside of crisis events. Here, we break down the value of social media listening, the right ways to do it, and the payoff.

What Is Social Listening?

At its root, it’s the process of collecting data from social platforms and forums for your brand. This mined data is then analyzed to find trends and useful insights, and influences a wide range of aspects of your brand. It’s a valuable tool to measure brand sentiment, and the strengths and weaknesses of social media efforts, as well as to gauge consumer reactions about your brand, competition, and the industry.

The Impact of Social Listening

Social listening allows you to curate unfiltered social media conversations to better understand the marketplace. It’s an often overlooked strategy in appreciating your audiences and the impact of your brand. If you listen to your audience, you are better equipped to give them the service or product they want, and as a result, strengthen your health care brand and audience engagement.

Here are a few ways you can make a big impact with social listening:
  1.  Inform brand health and reputation.
  2.  Use keywords and topics to generate relevant leads and retain existing customers.
  3.  Leverage consumer experiences to improve customer service.
  4.  Use popular opinion to make adjustments to your product or service.
  5.  Identify influencers and advocates to build relationships with your brand.
  6.  Learn where your audience spends their most engaged time online.
  7.  Track campaign performance and image recognition.
  8.  Conduct trends research and gather demographic Insights.

Which Social Listening Tool Is Right For You?

How can you easily put social listening into practice? Using a tool provides a level of sophistication and accuracy, saving you time to gather data, so that you can access the information in real time and implement changes.  One of our favorites is Brand Watch because of its accuracy in capturing mentions that are actually relevant to our clients’ brands. We’re also able to visualize the data easily to gain insight and take action quickly.

Here are several other tools that offer listening capabilities depending on the level of investment you’re able to commit to and the size of your social following: